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techAdmin
Status: Site Admin
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 3956
Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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The net is a fluid non-living organism (now if THAT'S not a contradiction in terms, I don't know what IS!) and will change on a micro-milliseconds basis - so how is anyone going to keep on top of it?

LOL, that's one of the nicer formulations of that I've seen. By the way, I totally agree that HTML is a programming language, I've actually tried arguing that elsewhere, but all these linear brained programmers always jump in and say:
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No, you are not correct, a programming language is defined by the presence of for and if statements.
Of course they are in their sense right, but it's such a narrow sense, obviously HTML and CSS are programming languages, they are just very simple ones, without for and if constructs. For some reason cutting up and defining this stuff is very important, like:
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well, I'm a programmer you know, so what I do is much more complex than what you do, that's because I work with a programming language, HTML and CSS are just Markup languages.

Very narrow, very boring, as if it even matters, to me I write stuff, it makes stuff do what I want. Sometimes I use javascript to make it do what I want, sometimes I use html, sometimes I use CSS, sometimes PHP or Apache mod_rewrite. It's all the same to me more or less.
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vkaryl
Status: Contributor
Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 273
Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Heh. You DO realize that a programmer by definition is "ANAL", right?

So anything heesh says is suspect from the get-go. You may be a programmer, but by definition you are NOT anal, BECAUSE you know that html/css, etc. ARE programming languages.

I program some in MUSHcode. It has if, for, else, ifelse statements. It's NOT as complicated in many ways as html is....
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MatthewHSE
Status: Contributor
Joined: 20 Jul 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Central Illinois, typically glued to a computer screen
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my personal theory is that there's a lot of people out there, mostly young, who have grown up in front of their monitors, and they really really want the stuff to have some greater meaning, meaning they really should get from the real world, so they jump on these bandwagons, really believe in the stuff


Looks like I may be the youngest participant in this thread (I'm 23) and I can really identify with that remark. I grew up with some kids who didn't have any meaning in their "real world" and searched for it in some really bizarre ways. With that said, I do have meaningful work that I do that takes way more time than a full-time job. I'm getting "greater meaning" out of my real world, yet I'm still on a few of these bandwagons (like CSS layout, vaidating markup, etc.). I'm not really sure where I'm going with this post, except maybe to say your theory is likely correct in a great many cases, but not necessarily all.

With that said, I have yet to build a validating page on my own site . . . those third-party scripts just won't play nicely! ;) But I validate any personal page I create! (I find those yellow buttons really pretty at the bottom of a page!)
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jeffd
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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One thing I think is often misunderstood when we talk about this stuff is that just because some parts of the scene are criticized doesn't mean that the stuff itself is being criticized.

Speaking only for myself, most of my recent websites have been done with CSS/P, and they always all validate.

Validation for the same reasons given above, debugging and maintainance [we even got most of these phpbb forums to validate!!].

It's the extreme zealotry that I don't like, when people think using XHTML 1 strict has some actual value, for example, as opposed to just being something that can be done if you so choose.

Same with CSS/P, it's a great tool, all my websites have been full CSS for years, haven't made one that isn't. When appropriate I also make them CSS/P, div based, other times tables are more appropriate, a tag is a tag is a tag, there's no difference that's real between a div and table tr td, it's not a semantic issue, no browser or user agent out there treats them as different. there's no less markup, it's all the same, just two tools for the job, pick the best one.

The difference is when you think CSS or XHTML has some actual meaning besides being a tool you have in your toolkit. Many carpenters will swear by Bosch power tools for example, they won't use anything else, they like that tool. But that's all it is, they like the tool.

Now when it comes to ASP or IIS, pardon me while I vomit discreetly in the bushes. But that's from experience, I just hate those products because they won't do what I want them to do.
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vkaryl
Status: Contributor
Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 273
Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Matthew, WHAT 3rd party stuff are you having trouble with? I actually have forced some scripts into validation mode. While I'm far from being a programmer, I would be very happy to give a look-see to your problem children to see if they will behave after application of "Silvermoon's Law" - which is of course, NOTHING is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool!

Just as a bit of background, I have forced into compliance/validation a couple of document.rewrite conditionals, and Muhammed Muquit's page counter script.... and a few esoteric additions to phpBB....
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MatthewHSE
Status: Contributor
Joined: 20 Jul 2004
Posts: 122
Location: Central Illinois, typically glued to a computer screen
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Hi, thanks for offering to help, but I doubt there's anything that can be done in this case. The problem is invalid HTML being written by perl scripts. I have access to the source code and could edit it if I wanted to, and could get it to be standards-compliant, but at the moment, I have higher priorities. Like you pointed out, if it works, who really cares about validation? Also editing the perl source would void my support policy from the script programmers, which I'm not willing to do at this time.

The thing that bugs me is in most cases the invalid code is simply unnecessary. Like <center>, align="left", and other deprecated elements and attributes that could easily be controlled via external stylesheets.

Also, this particular site will not validate to HTML Strict in the forseeable future, as I run banner advertisements and use target="_blank" for them, which is the only invalid code I intentionally use. (And yes I know about "user choice" and "if I want a new window I'll open it myself" and all the rest of that, which is all very good for techies like you and me, but not so good for my visitors, who see a new window for an ad click as a positive advantage and convenience feature.)

I'm working at learning PHP myself, and hope to eventually replace these third-party scripts with my own custom solutions. Until then, I think I'm just stuck. But it works, and that, after all, is the main thing.
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vkaryl
Status: Contributor
Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 273
Location: back of beyond - s. UT, closer to Vegas than SLC
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Yup - too many people DO forget the real "bottom line", don't they? Which is of course, "if it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!"
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mike
Status: Contributor
Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 71
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< ----- Begin Rant -------->

i think some forget too that when you're working on something and you have a boss who doesn't really care how it's done they just want it done.

xhtml1.1 btw doesn't allow for image maps any longer, which isn't usually a problem but sometimes can be. i guess you could just set the image as a background and position transparent gifs over the map ares but there's no way to make custom shapes.

I try to go xhtml transitional when where I can depending upon the job. The biggest problem I have with going with a more standards based design (divs and css) is that sometimes it's really just easier and more effiicient to churn out a table based layout. between opera, mozilla and ie debugging css can sometimes be painstaking. and we you have someone behind you all day just expecting you to pump a site out in 15-20 minutes it's just not realistic. I mean if i only had to make it look right on one browser no problem, but sometimes it's just a pain in the ass to debug stuff so it works on everything. The tables layouts render pretty damn perfectly in every browser. plus they take all of about 5-10 minutes to pump out opposed to sometimes when a div based layout can take hours to make look the way you want it to. if the software makers would get their crap together and give us one set of guidelines it'd be great. I mean w3c has guidelines but you can code something perfectly by the guidelines and still have it show up all screwed up in any number of browsers. So what good are they? The page validates, the css validates, but there's still a funny space on either msie of firefox, and once you fix it on one it looks screwed on the other...hahah and let's not get started on opera which seems to do alot of stuff totally different!

hahah i really just need to start brushing up more on hacking up css i guess. But dammit, isn't not having to hack stuff the whole point of standards! some say screw msie...well fine u can screw them but when 70%+ of my visitors are running ie i'm not going to say screw them. :sigh: hahah as you can tell i'm just throwing in the towel on a css/div based designed. the boss wants it done so it'll get done today, hahah tables here I come!

btw, matt i'm the youngest one here i think, only 21.

target="_blank" can be worked around using javascript very easily.

people get too hung up on validation..sometimes it's unrealistic especially when you have people who don't know what they're doing screwing with your code. use it as a tool to help you debug...even though sometimes it doesn't help though. like i said above, i've had stuff validate and still be screwed up
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jeffd
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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The tables layouts render pretty damn perfectly in every browser. plus they take all of about 5-10 minutes to pump out opposed to sometimes when a div based layout can take hours to make look the way you want it to.


This is a 100% true statement, except that sometimes you can't physically work around some CSS display bugs in some browsers, IE mac especially simply cannot be fixed.

Making a table based layout takes as you note about 10-15 minutes, and will display stably. It's this simple fact that CSS/P simply cannot get around. One of my concerns with the recent excess enthusiasm for CSS/P, which tends to disregard serious or minor stability issues, is that CSS/P will get a bad name. There's a certain tendency to say, oh, well the user should update their browsers if they don't display my layout perfectly. This is totally wrong, the user should not do anything, you should help the user find what they need on your site.

It's the same with XHTML, I went through my XHTML phase too, built a bunch of sites using it, until one day I realized that the client and end user had achieved precisely zero advantage from this 'perfect' code. None, not an iota. It's just a bit harder to maintain.

I'd repeat, if anyone is thinking about XHTML, do the real thing, then see how enthusiastic you are, that means XHTML 1 strict, or 1.1. Remember that 1.1 must be delivered with mime type application/xhtml+xml. Anything else is simply wrong. And XHTML 1.0 strict should be delivered the same way, otherwise it's HTML, except incorrect HTML. It's all very silly.

Your points on what you lose are also good, since the truth of this is that if you use XHTML 1 or 1.1 you have fewer tools to work with, it's more restrictive, and does less. That's how you can see that XHTML was a mistake. When you do an update, say PHP 4 to 5, you get more power, more tools, more options. That's what an update is. XHTML gives you fewer tools, fewer options, and less power. 1.1 totally eliminates document.write and has no working replacement, that means for all practical purposes any real DHTML type features are technically not possible to implement.

Again, if you haven't tried this, do so. Select a page with lots of document.write and try making it work in 1.1, or 1.0 strict, with correct mimetype. 99.99999 percent of XHTML sites either just eliminate most document.write, or do painful hacks that don't really work cross browser to imitate them. XHTML is one of the things that made me lose respect for the current thinking of the W3C. The so called 'semantic web' is ther other thing, it's just plain naive, and will probably never be implemented.
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mike
Status: Contributor
Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 71
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properly coded xhtml is actually valid html. there's nothing invalid about a self closing tag. just be sure to include a space b4 the "/>"
ie:
not
:: Code ::
<br/>

but
:: Code ::
<br />


I do alot of sites now in xhtml transitional. the main reason is that it forces other people who work with me to code better. there's nothing i can't stand more than when i get a document to work with and the code is absolute crap...capital letters are annoying, I can't stand font tags. I see nothing wrong with coding semantically.

As someone who's worked with people who code shit and people who code correctly, it's a HUGE breath of fresh air when you get to work with someone who does things correctly.

Coding that is done cleanly and semantically is incredibly easier to debug and edit later on. Especially if you weren't the original author.

As for the document writes, I've used them on xhtml1 strict and transitional sites with no problems as long as your document.write isn't writing out invalid code. I don't know if the same is the case for 1.1. anyhow, hopefully when html5 comes out it will fix some of the things i hate about html4 and we can all find a happy medium.
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